Paris Winter Sale (Soldes)

soldesParis only has two sanctioned sales during the year — in January just after the Christmas break and in July just before the August holiday.  The winter sale is in full swing through February 21, with many stores now in their second and third markdown.  Unlike sales in the U.S., stores are open mostly during normal hours, except have extended days open on a few Sundays.  While it seems impossible, French law only allows sales during this time period, otherwise stores must get permission from the police to hold discounted sales outside this time period.  The theory behind this is that this protects the small mom and pop shops from heavy discounting by the major giants, like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, but, in reality, this is a way to preserve price protection and state sanctioned price parity among retailers. Read More »

January and February in Paris

IMGP2732.JPGAlthough New Year festivities are over, there are plenty of things to do and see in Paris this January and February before the winter season ends.  Our favorite places to visit and things to do after the New Year this winter season in Paris include the following: Read More »

Valentine’s Day in Paris

IMGP0527.JPGParis will always be a city synonymous with love, for most of us it’s the first place we come to when thinking of the perfect destination for a romantic break. This does mean however that many other couples will have the same idea of visiting The City of Light over the 14th February, so it’s important to plan ahead. If you are flying into Paris, certain airlines, like Air France may offer special deals on airfares over the Valentine’s weekend to encourage visitors, but do make sure you shop around for the best deal.

Once there an abundance of romantic things to do lie at your fingertips, here are some of the best to help you plan that perfect Valentine’s Day in Paris. Read More »

Galette des Rois (King’s Cake)

Galette des Roi.JPGJust when you think New Year festivities are at an end, La Fête des Rois starts on the Epiphany holiday, which falls on the first Sunday in January.  This is a great holiday, where bakeries in France and throughout Paris make a round almond pastry cake that families buy to share, and celebrate a holiday where anyone can be king or queen for a day.  A ’fève’ (originally a bean but now tends to be a plastic or enamel trinket) is baked inside the cake and the cake is shared around the table. Whoever bites into the almond crusty cake and finds the fève (just be careful not to break your tooth!) is crowned king or queen for the day.  It is not too late to get your galette to be king for a day! Read More »

Christmas In Paris

The City of Lights literally sparkles at night during the festive winter season, as the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees and narrow streets of Paris glow with twinkling lights, Christmas ornaments and decorations through the New Year.  Read More »

Strasbourg for Christmas

Strausbourg 017-1.jpgThe French seem to radiate holiday warmth as the temperatures drop and Noël draws nearer. Believe it or not, this country of wine, cheese and on average, rather little snow may contain Santa’s Workshop itself. Strasbourg, the self-proclaimed “Capital of Christmas,” certainly convinced me that Christmas magic is from here, amongst its incredible Gothic cathedral and superb Alsatian eateries. Read More »